Nanaimo RCMP are reminding motorists not to keep pets on their laps while driving after a dog was critically injured by an airbag in a crash.

The accident happened at Wilgress Road and Northfield Road around 4 p.m. on Thursday.

A 45-year-old man was driving a Toyota Tundra with a small dog on his lap, RCMP say.

According to investigators, the Tundra was travelling on Wilgress when it collided with a Ford Ranger that was going westbound on Northfield.

The driver of the Tundra was issued a violation ticket for failing to yield after a stop.

The dog remains in critical condition with significant internal injuries, police say.

“While neither the driver nor passengers were injured, a family pet was seriously injured in circumstances that could have been avoided,” said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP. "Pets should never be allowed to sit on driver's laps. It can lead to the driver becoming distracted and puts the animal in harm’s way.”